- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on prosecutions for bribery over prison contracts (all times local):

Noon

A lawyer for Robert Simmons confirms that he plans to plead guilty to a criminal charge that says he bribed former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps and a Harrison County supervisor.

K.C. Hightower says his client Robert Simmons is scheduled to appear Thursday in court in Gulfport and waive indictment on a criminal charge filed against him last week.

The charge alleges Simmons kicked back part of his consulting fees on three separate contracts to Epps beginning in 2012. It also says Simmons bribed an unnamed supervisor for help winning a Harrison County jail medical contract for Jackson-based Health Assurance.

Hightower declined comment when asked if Simmons bribed later supervisor William Martin. Martin committed suicide last year hours before he was due in federal court on bribery charges.

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3:00 a.m.

Authorities say another man has been charged with bribing former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps.

Federal prosecutors filed a criminal charge late last week against Robert Simmons alleging he kicked back part of his consulting fees on three separate contracts to Epps beginning in 2012.

The charge also alleges Simmons bribed an unnamed Harrison County Supervisor in exchange for help securing a Harrison County jail medical contract for Jackson-based Health Assurance. Former Supervisor William Martin committed suicide last year hours before he was due in federal court on bribery charges.

Federal court records listed no attorney for Simmons.

No court date has been set for Simmons to answer to the charges.

Epps pleaded guilty in February to two felony bribery counts, with prosecutors saying he collected $1.47 million in bribes.

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